With 673 new cases reported in the last 24 hours, it seems as though Covid-19 is thriving under the radar. Meanwhile, authorities and unsuspecting citizens are far too consumed by the political developments in the country to register the need to take preventative steps that will prevent another wave from devastating the country once again. The risk of transmission is increasing, especially with the upcoming Ashura holidays. This is a vital moment to take action and should there be any delays, we are most likely going to see the situation get worse.
Fortunately, the National Institute of Health (NIH) reported no deaths in the last 24 hours but just two days ago, 10 people lost their lives. On average, the country is reporting anywhere between 400-800 positive cases, proving that the disease is still very prevalent. Vaccination measures have helped contain the disease and build immunity but with new more contagious and resistant variants, transmission risks are high.
No one can deny that an exhausted population has completely let go of taking precaution. Masks are worn rarely, emphasis on sanitisation has declined, social distancing is not practiced and society has resumed functions similar to the pre-pandemic era. We must recognise that we are particularly vulnerable at this stage due to various other factors like high prices due to inflation, economic troubles, floods, the reemergence of polio, dengue and various other menaces that are plaguing our country. These are problems that deserve our attention and it is about time that the government takes action.
The upcoming Muharram gatherings and religious processions are at high-risk for transmission according to the NIH. Special warnings have been issued to abide by certain protocols like social distancing, wearing masks, using sanitizer and more. Religious clerics have also been instructed to create awareness and urge the public to be more responsible. In the meantime, the government must pull its weight. We have the capacity to approach and cater to rural areas as well after the US donated mobile labs for quick and easy diagnostics. These must be utilised, along with other measures that create awareness and prevent transmission.